May 3, 2010

            Middlebury senior Erich Enns (Lansdale, Pa.) became the school's all-time leader in stolen bases as the Panthers earned a 9-7 road win at Skidmore. Enns' 39 thefts surpass David Reister '05, who stole 38 bases from 2003-05.  

            Middlebury took a 2-0 lead in the first, when senior Danny Seymour (Weston, Conn.) was hit by a pitch and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Enns. Enns stole second, breaking the record, and scored on an RBI single by sophomore Zach Roeder (Keene, N.H.).

Skidmore got one back in the second when Matt Pisani walked, advanced to third and scored on a ground out to the pitcher. Middlebury increased its lead to 5-2 with a pair of runs in the third on a two-run double by rookie Thomas Rafferty (Chicago, Ill.) and one in the fourth on a solo homer by Enns. The Thoroughbreds cut the lead to 5-4 in the fifth on a three-run pinch-hit homer by Brian Lowry.

            The Panthers responded with four runs in the sixth, to go up 9-4. Junior Donald McKillop's (Poway, Calif.) three-run home run was the key hit in the inning that saw Middlebury send 10 batters to the plate.

Skidmore scored one in the sixth when Pisani singled and later scored on a Zack Brown sacrifice fly.  Lowry hit a two-run homer in the seventh, his second of the game and third of the season to make it 9-7.

            Panther rookie reliever Michael Joseph (Bala Cynwyd, Pa.) shut the Thoroughbreds down for the final two innings for his and his team's first save of the season.    

            Enns led the Panthers, going 4-5 with two RBI and three runs. Sophomore Matt Wassel (Rumson, N.J.) was 3-6 with a pair of doubles, and Roeder was 3-3 with a run and RBI. Sophomore starter Will Baine (Rye, N.Y.) got the win, allowing one run on two hits with a pair of K's.

            Trailing 5-0 after one inning, the Middlebury bats came alive, scoring 17 runs on 21 hits en route to a 17-7 win over visiting Amherst at Forbes Field on Friday. With the win, the Panthers eliminated Amherst from NESCAC Tournament contention.

            In the first, Amherst jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Thomas Wheeler blasted a pitch from Panther senior starter Matt Lowes (Houston, Texas) over the fence for a three-run homer and a 5-0 advantage. Lowes settled down over the next few innings as Middlebury added a run in the second on a solo homer by first-year player Joseph Conway (Hummelstown, Pa.) and another run in the fourth, cutting the Amherst lead to 5-2.

            The Panthers took a 9-7 lead in the seventh before exploding for eight runs in the eighth inning for a commanding 17-7 lead. Middlebury played small ball scoring a pair of runs on a pair of RBI singles before McKillop knocked in two runs on a bases-loaded double for a 13-7 lead. Amherst intentionally walked Enns, loading the bases for Conway with one out. Conway delivered with a towering blast to dead centerfield for a grand slam home run and a 17-7 lead.

            Of the 21 hits by the Panthers, nine were for extra bases, including seven doubles along with Conway's two homers. Six Middlebury players had multiple hits, including McKillop's 5/6 day, along with Baine's 4/5 showing. Conway finished 2/5 with the two four-baggers and five RBI.

            Rookie John Popkowski (New York, N.Y.) relieved Lowes in the seventh, pitching two scoreless innings for the win, as Joseph pitched the ninth.

            Middlebury played its final home games of the season on Saturday, dropping a pair to Amherst by scores of 8-6 and 8-2.

            Leading 1-0, Middlebury added four runs on four hits in the third inning to take a 5-0 lead in game one. An RBI double down the right field line by Enns drove in the first run, while Enns and McKillop each scored on wild pitches. Rookie Michael Morris (Scarsdale, N.Y.) singled to left to plate Conway with two outs to make it a 5-0 game.

            Amherst answered with three in the top of the fourth, making it a 5-3 game. Thomas Wheeler earned an RBI single, Mike Samela scored on a fielder's choice, while Nolan Stewart plated Kevin Heller with a SAC fly.

            Middlebury added a run in the sixth before Amherst exploded for five runs in the seventh. Samela's two-run single to center brought the Jeffs within one, before a single through the left side by Heller tied the game. Wheeler drove in the game-winning runs with a double to center to score Heller and Samela. Middlebury put two runners on the bottom of the inning, but could not score.

            Adam Medoff earned the win in relief for Amherst, allowing one hit and no earned runs over three innings of work, while Pat Harris picked up his fourth save of the year. Wheeler was 3-4 with two doubles and three RBI in the game, while Bob Cook went 3-4 with a double and two runs scored.

            Junior Nick Angstman (Williston, Vt.) fell to 2-3 for the Panthers, suffering the loss with 6.1 innings pitched. McKillop, Enns and Conway each had two hits in the game, with Enns belting a double.

            Amherst took a 2-0 lead in the third inning of game two, behind SAC flies from Brian Merrigan and Cook. The Jeffs scored solo runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh, eight and two in the ninth to earn the victory.

            Trailing 4-0, Middlebury struck for a pair of runs in the sixth. Roeder drove in McKillop with a SAC fly to center, before Enns scored on a wild pitch.

            An RBI single to left from Cook in the seventh and an RBI single through the right side from Scott Shaffer in the eighth made it a 6-2 Amherst lead. The Jeffs added a pair of runs in the ninth to earn the 8-2 victory.

            Ryan Healy tossed the complete game win for Amherst, allowing no earned runs with four strikeouts. Cook went 3-3 with four RBI in the game, while Will Lawton went 4-4 with four runs scored. Middlebury first-year starter John Wiet (Morristown, N.J.) took the loss, allowing three earned runs over 5.2 innings of work.

Middlebury wrapped up its season by dropping a pair of games at Tufts on Sunday afternoon. The Jumbos pitching allowed the Panthers a total of just four hits in two seven-inning games, as they earned 3-1 and 5-1 victories. Enns ends his career at Middlebury, ranking in the top five in several all-time records.

            Enns is now the school's all-time leader in walks (69), stolen bases (40) and tied for the school record with eight triples and 16 home runs. He finished third in RBI (105) and runs scored (109), fourth in at-bats (385) and fifth in hits (142).

            Tufts junior starter Derek Miller allowed just two hits and no earned runs during six innings in game one. Sophomore closer Chris DeGoti broke the school record with his ninth save of the season, surpassing the eight recorded by Jeff Bloom in 1988. In game two, sophomore Dave Ryan was perfect through 4.1 innings and finished with six innings allowing one hit and no runs.

            The Jumbos, who won the NESCAC East Division pennant and will host the conference tournament next weekend, tied the school record for wins in a season as they improved to 27-5. Middlebury ended its year with a 10-17 mark.

            Middlebury rookie Tyler Buckingham (Montclair, N.J.) matched Miller with zeros on the scoreboard through four innings in game one. He allowed just one hit and no runs before he was lifted after five. The Panthers took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the fifth. Rafferty reached on a fielder's choice and scored after a wild pitch and a Tufts throwing error.

            Tufts got to the Panther relievers in the sixth, scoring three times. Nate Bankoff and Alex Perry had RBI singles in the inning. Miller, who improved to 3-0, gave up just two singles in the second and fifth innings.

            Ryan (4-1) didn't allow a Middlebury base runner in game two, until Conway singled with one out in the fifth. That was the only hit Ryan allowed. The Jumbos led 4-0 by that point. Junior Chase Rose singled up the middle and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the second. Tufts scored three times in the third, when sophomore 3B Sam Sager knocked in a run with a single and eventually scored.

            Junior David Orlowitz led off the bottom of the sixth with a single through the left side and eventually scored on a wild pitch, one of four thrown by Panther pitchers in the game. Middlebury scored its lone run in the top of the seventh on a walk by McKillop, a double by Enns, and an RBI ground out by pinch hitter Angstman.

            Sophomore Dirk vanDuym (Madison, Wis.) pitched 2.1 innings of no-hit relief for the Panthers in the nightcap.

• Baseball final record: 10-17